A large asbestos material testing laboratory company has been prosecuted after putting workers at its Tyneside premises at risk of exposure to asbestos. An investigation was launched when a complaint was received which stated that Exova (UK) Limited had not dealt with damaged asbestos at its site at The Grubb Parsons Building on Shields Road, Newcastle.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard the company’s had seen two separate reports which identified asbestos and made recommendations for remedial works to prevent exposure. One report was undertaken by their own accredited asbestos testing branch on 3rd October 2008. Damaged asbestos was identified in two separate areas of the site and the survey stated the damaged asbestos should be removed, repaired or sealed off. A second survey was completed in February 2010 and the report again stated that the previously identified damaged asbestos was still there and the earlier recommendation was repeated.
A HSE inspector visited the site on 15 July 2010 and found the recommendations of the two earlier surveys had still not been implemented and employees were continuing to access and work in areas where damaged asbestos was present. Enforcement action was instigated and Exova (UK) Limited, of Lochend Industrial Estate, Queen Anne Drive, Newbridge, Midlothian, was fined a total of £36,000 (£12,000 for each offence) and ordered to pay £8,000 costs after it pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
The HSE investigator stated that “Anyone who is responsible for non-domestic premises such as factories must take reasonable steps to find if there are materials containing asbestos in their premises and, if so, where it is and what condition it is in”. This can be done in the form of an asbestos survey which Armco can undertake at a very competitive price. Contact the Armco team for more details on 0161 763 3727.
Published May 10, 2012